From the bestselling author of A History of the World in 21 Women
They were famous queens, unrecognised visionaries, great artists and trailblazing politicians. They all pushed back boundaries and revolutionised our world. Jenni Murray presents the history of Britain as you’ve never seen it before, through the lives of twenty-one women who refused to succumb to the established laws of society, whose lives embodied hope and change, and who still have the power to inspire us today.
‘Fascinating…this entertaining book will be enjoyed by women of all ages.’
– BBC History
‘Ideal to press into the hands of young women studying politics and history.’
‘Celebrates the defiant spirit of Britain’s groundbreaking heroines…Entertaining.’
– Daily Mail
‘Shows intent to share the joy of learning something new about what may seem familiar…The value she gives those presently underrated qualities, patience and fortitude, will stand a lifetime’s reference.’
‘Murray chooses twenty-one women who changed the world, and tells their remarkable stories with her own extraordinary wit, passion and piercing insight. She is the perfect guide.’
– Helen Castor
‘I can’t think of any more seductive way of learning about the past than meeting its principals as if they were friends in a room. That’s the gift that Jenni Murray gives us; a rare gift because these principals are women. If someone in every country were to write a book like this, scholars might finally admit there are two things – history and the past – and they are not the same.’
– Gloria Steinem
‘I was fascinated by this well-researched, informative and entertaining book. I knew the names of many of the women among its pages, but not their stories and it was wonderful to read about them via Jenni Murray’s warm and well-written prose. Entertaining, enjoyable and scholarly.’
– Elizabeth Chadwick, bestselling author of the Eleanor of Aquitaine trilogy
‘Jenni Murray has invited us to her feast of extraordinary women: queens, artists, writers, musicians, scientists and activists. All are entertaining, all bring their talents to the table where confident Nancy Astor sits beside retiring Gwen John, and Fanny Burney describes her harrowing mastectomy to the pioneering doctor Elizabeth Garrett Anderson. As incomparable host, Jenni lets her guests display themselves lavishly, telling their own noble or quirky stories while she delicately inserts anecdotes from her own distinguished life – her teenage yearning for the ‘gender-quaking’ look of Mary Quant, her terror at the idea of interviewing the redoubtable Margaret Thatcher. This is no closed event. The book invites us all to come in. It’s a feast you won’t want to miss!’
– Janet Todd, professor emerita, University of Aberdeen, and author of Death and the Maidens
‘Jenni Murray has compiled a list of 21 women [that] befits a keen feminist’.
– Catholic Herald
‘A fresh and very timely way of looking at British history, illuminated by Murray’s own incomparable experience in the world of women’s stories. Her twenty-one vignettes – of well-known and little-known alike – benefit from the blend of warmth and scepticism that has long marked her own contribution to national life.’
– Sarah Gristwood
‘A History of Britain in 21 Women is impossible to put down or ignore. The legendary Jenni Murray opens up the lives of great figures living and long dead. The veteran interviewer’s voice is present throughout; probing, challenging but never drowning out her well-chosen subjects. The book is dedicated to the young but offers so much to women and men of all ages.’
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